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The Royal Shakespeare Company’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book Matilda has won a string of awards – including seven Oliviers – and has hit all the right notes with the critics too.
Matilda is an unloved, but very gifted child with an extraordinary imagination, truly awful parents only interested in watching telly and a ghastly bullying headmistress who swings the girls by their pigtails. When she discovers she has special powers she decides it’s time she gets her own back.
The theatre director Michael Grandage is putting on five plays in the first season of his newly formed Michael Grandage Company. The first offering from the new theatre company will star Jude Law, Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Radcliffe among others in a 15-month West End season at the Noel Coward Theatre.
It begins with Privates on Parade by Peter Nichols (Dec 2012 – Mar 2013) starring Simon Russell Beale as a cross-dressing captain in the army theatre unit during the Malayan Emergency.
London takes centre stage in the year long Lights! Camera! London! exhibition, held at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden.
The exhibition about London’s place in film history covers both the city’s film industry and London as featured on the screen.
One section of the exhibit looks at the history of the city’s film industry from the studios of the early years (there were around 90 in the industry’s heyday) to today’s work in the post-production houses in Soho working on films such as X-Men and Harry Potter.
The Rest is Noise is a year long festival of 20th century classical music at the Southbank Centre, aiming to tell the story of the last century’s music from Strauss to John Adams, inspired by Alex Ross’s book The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.
The series charts the history of the century alongside its music, showing how revolutions, wars, social change and technology all had an affect on classical music.
Art from the Americas is taking London by storm this year, with exhibitions of some great artists from the 19th century to the present day.
From 19th century landscape artist Frederic Church (America’s Turner) at the National Gallery, which is showing 25 of his oil sketches; a major retrospective of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein at the Tate Modern (both starting in February); to early 20th century realist artist George Bellows of the Ashcan School, at the Royal Academy (from March). Also at the Royal Academy (from July) an exhibition of Mexican art between 1910-1940; and later in the year Dulwich Picture Gallery is showing views of Thames by19th century artist James McNeill Whistler (from October).
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